[MUD-Dev] Value

Jaycen Rigger jaycen.rigger at sbcglobal.net
Tue Dec 20 07:30:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


"Brian \"Ayavaron\" Ross" <ayavaron at gmail.com> wrote:

> ...why should some games require work before you can start
> enjoying them. That just isn't cool.

I would say this is a concept that has evolved from the days when
Role-Playing Games were table-top ventures.  The idea of an RPG was
to bring people together to enjoy each others company in a fantasy
setting.  My friends and I refer to it as our weekly group therapy.

When dorks like us started putting our games on the Internet so
people separated by geographical expanse could join together to
increase the size and scope of our play, we brought the basic
concepts of RPGs with us.  One major component of a table-top RPG is
character development.  It's a funny term, because not only are you
developing your Player Character, but in a way you're learning
things about yourself and people in general, thus developing your
personal "character" (what old people call moral fiber).

Table-top RPGs center on gaining experience so your character can
progress in his abilities and powers.  By actually going through
adventures with your character, you create memories of shared
experiences with friends in settings you can't normally
achieve..."Dude, remember the night we took out that ancient red
dragon?  Jeff died, but he got off his Protection from Evil just in
time to save our butts!"

In those games, you had one single referee who could choose to award
role-playing regardless of what objectives in the game were achieved
during the play.  For example, the Game Master could choose to award
arbitrary amounts of experience just because he thought that one
player brought special fun to the game that night.  Humans can
easily make those kinds of judgments, whereas a computer can't.

For us old school guys, what you call "requiring work", we call
"part of the experience".  Contextually, it makes sense that your
character should endure certain "trials of life" before gaining all
the goodies.  It's kind of an old timey nutty concept - work for
things and get rewarded.

Due to the size and popularity of on-line RPGs and the growth of the
Internet, you now have floods of youngsters who don't have any of
that old table top experience.  It's really a shame, because nothing
beats playing with real human beings, but many of us will settle for
playing by proxy.

It's an evolution, really.  The very "rEvolution" currently being
discussed here.  Some people define evolution as a marked
metamorphosis, but we're already seeing it.  It's happening all the
time.  It's part of what causes so many bad decisions to be made by
developers and companies.  They just don't know how to handle this
influx of people who want to play a game that isn't what the game is
trying to be.

Funny.

It's not really the player's fault that they don't have that life
experience, and yet they complain about having to gain it in order
to enjoy something that's all about gaining experience.  Nutty.

-Jaycen
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